The charm of New York City is multifaceted, but one particular ritual has always held a special allure for both residents and visitors alike: brunch. In a city that seldom sleeps, brunch has been a beloved weekend respite—a gastronomic interlude between the demands of work and the festivities of the night. Today, as the city finds its rhythm once more, there’s a buzz around 2nd Avenue that heralds the return of brunch in all its glory. The herald? None other than The Laurels.
Tucked into the heart of the city at 231 Second Avenue, where 14th Street meets 2nd Avenue, The Laurels is not just another spot on the brunch map. It’s a statement. A cozy cocktail bar featuring Contemporary American cuisine that effortlessly marries the sophistication of fine dining with the warmth of a local eatery.
As you step into The Laurels between 11 am and 3.30 pm, it becomes clear why it’s becoming the toast of the town. It isn’t just about the food (although, with their menu, it could be); it’s the experience. Their ethos is clear—brunch isn’t just a meal; it’s an event.
The ‘Early Morning Starters’ greet you with offerings like the delectably smooth *Greek Yogurt* adorned with Madagascar vanilla, a sweet strawberry compote, fresh raspberries, and honey nut granola. The *Fresh Fruit & Berries* is a refreshing ensemble, bringing together strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and watermelon, all kissed by lemon preservatives.
Adventurous palates might gravitate towards the *Cornflake Crusted French Toast* with its tantalizing mixed berry compote, mascarpone, and powdered sugar, while traditionalists will find solace in the familiar embrace of the *Traditional American Breakfast*. For the meat lovers, the *Steak & Eggs* – an exquisite dry-aged 8 oz filet paired with eggs and bathed in a basil chimmi churri – is a must.
Vegans and vegetarians, fear not. The *Veggie Frittata*, a harmonious blend of roasted red pepper, asparagus, kale, and garlic, will ensure you’re not left behind in this culinary journey.
For those looking for a hearty lunch twist, the signature *The Laurels* burger with an 8oz beef patty, smoked bacon, and chive truffle aioli is a match made in heaven. Pair it with their rosemary parmesan truffle fries and you’re in for a treat.
However, what truly sets the brunch at The Laurels apart is their bottomless drinks offer. For 90 minutes, with the purchase of an entree, patrons can indulge in an unlimited supply of brunch favorites like mimosas, bellinis, bloody marys, and even margaritas. The catch? The entire party must dive into this experience together, making it a collective toast to the return of NYC’s beloved brunch culture.
Beyond the flavors and the drinks, it’s the ambiance. The dim glow of the late morning, the clinking of glasses, soft chatter, laughter—a tapestry of sounds that brings with it a profound sense of normalcy and celebration.
And as the afternoon sun begins its descent, those looking to linger can indulge in The Laurels’ happy hour or stay on for a magical late-night experience. With its holistic approach to dining and entertainment, The Laurels isn’t just bringing back brunch—it’s reviving the soul of NYC.
In these resilient times, as NYC finds its feet and its heart, places like The Laurels remind us of the simple joys—good food, great company, and the timeless allure of brunch. So, here’s to new beginnings, and to brunch being back in NYC, right where it belongs. Cheers!
Author: Alejandro Cruz